Sunday, May 24, 2020

Ordination: Ogoni-Born Catholic Priest Marks Ist Year Anniversary In USA.

By Victor Bieni

Ogoni- born Catholic priest recently marked one year anniversary in USA to celebrate his priesthood ordination with a special Mass, which indicated a total dedication to the service of humanity, without any clich├ęs attached, was also monitored from Nigeria and it also marks a year of taking the strong and serious decision of celibacy and of service to God and humanity in truth and for life, no matter, the colour, nationality, ethnicity, culture, gender or social class of people involved.

The root of the celebration of the first anniversary of the priesthood ordination was at Franciscans Capuchin of St. Joseph Providence, Detroit, Michigan, USA, whilst  parishes where the celebrant, Rev. Fr. Anthony Barikpoa Kote-Witah, born of Ogoni origin in Nigeria, had served in the past hooked up to the service by virtual devices on 26th April, 2020. The priest is the current president of Ogoni Ministers’ Forum in USA.

In his homily at the Mass, Fr. Kote-Witah, said Fr. Witah delivered a benediction captioned: “As I Rise Today” to bless the congregants thus: ”As I Rise Today”, may the grace of God pilot me, with His heavenly wings; may the spirit of God advocate for me; may the power of hope enlighten me.

The wisdom of God champions my cause and engulfs me; may the blanket of the Holy Spirit envelop me… May this revelation nourish my soul and all those I will encounter.  Through all who share and think of me, may faith and joy reign.

 May Christ’s unconditional love be shared with others. May Christ be welcomed by everyone that I will encounter. Amen!”

He charged the congregants to have strong faith in the ability of our Creator to do all things and to aid the world to overcome the challenges being posed by COVID-19 disease and its induced global hunger and social frustration on the masses.

The priest described the Corona Virus pandemic as a global public health issue that should be frontally tackled by global leaders for its early extinction.
“It is from the source of darkness and this epidemic has come to humiliate mankind and to test our faith in God; test our ingenuity; test our level of tolerance and love for each other as well as our creativity”, the cleric stressed.

In a brief chat with journalists after the Mass, Fr. Kote-Witah, expressed worry and concern over the survival and future of African youths and vulnerable women in the rural communities.
He hinted of his plans to facilitate two novel projects for a neglected community called Bane in Ogoni Kingdom of Rivers State in Nigeria.
The Catholic priest said he was sufficiently motivated by the forces of heaven to intervene in raising the bar in the areas of education and charity.

“Each time I pray, I hear a voice saying, please, look at the direction of vulnerable children in an under-served and abandoned entity and bring their hope alive through some projects of impact”, the cleric disclosed.
The celebrant also said his plans were to see to the erection of an international library and an orphanage, with all the modern facilities.

“It is part of the covenant of my call to see to the realisation of these projects for the benefit and development future leaders, and unfortunate and less-privileged children”, he declared.
 Asked when he hopes to commence action on these twin-projects, the priest said he hopes to lay the foundation stones of the novel projects in December, this year and expressed joy that some humanists have already bought the idea of these projects.
The mother of the priest, Mrs.

Mary Maatema Witah who flew from Nigeria to witness the maiden anniversary of his ordination, voluntarily surrendered to be converted to join to Catholic fold, saying she was happy that his son has taken the call to Catholic priesthood seriously and made the entire Witah family proud.

She told journalists after the Mass that his son had long demonstrated strong faith in God despite becoming an orphan early in life whilst engaging in pious activities and preaching morality.

 “My presence here is a miracle and it shows God’s ability to do all things. I pray God to increase him for the increase and advancement of the society”, she added.

Also speaking to foreign journalists on the anniversary, an uncle to the priest, Dr. Emmanuel Gote Deeyor, said he not surprised about the open heart of the priest having known him from childhood.

“He has always been concerned about the good and well-being of the society and that was why when he muted the idea of donating himself to the service of humanity, I quickly endorsed it knowing he would make an impactful Catholic priest.”

He prayed God to oil his dreams in life so that he could impact the society in different areas of his interest.

This first anniversary of his priesthood ordination is the beginning of the journey to the manifestation of his destination and rest assured that more would be released from his liberal kitty in the years to come”, Dr. Deeyor added

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